Cross dyke 450m west of Cherhill Monument

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018423

Date first listed: 15-Feb-1999

Map

Ordnance survey map of Cross dyke 450m west of Cherhill Monument
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Calne Without

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Cherhill

National Grid Reference: SU 04273 69347, SU 04339 69377, SU 04367 69399

Summary

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Cross dykes are substantial linear earthworks typically between 0.2km and 1km long and comprising one or more ditches arranged beside and parallel to one or more banks. They generally occur in upland situations, running across ridges and spurs. They are recognised as earthworks or as cropmarks on aerial photographs, or as combinations of both. The evidence of excavation and analogy with associated monuments demonstrates that their construction spans the millennium from the Middle Bronze Age, although they may have been re-used later. Current information favours the view that they were used as territorial boundary markers, probably demarcating land allotment within communities, although they may also have been used as trackways, cattle droveways or defensive earthworks. Cross dykes are one of the few monument types which illustrate how land was divided up in the prehistoric period. They are of considerable importance for any analysis of settlement and land use in the Bronze Age. Very few have survived to the present day and hence all well- preserved examples are considered to be of national importance.

The cross dyke 450m west of Cherhill Monument survives well and is a good example of its type. It will contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was built. This is one of a series of linear earthworks recorded on the downs west of Avebury.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details

The monument, which falls into three areas, includes a length of linear boundary earthwork 450m west of Cherhill Monument, on the north western scarp of the Marlborough Downs. The boundary earthwork includes a ditch up to 0.8m deep flanked on the west side by a bank up to 1m high. The entire structure is 13.9m wide and is interpreted as a Bronze Age cross dyke. The earthwork survives in three sections running south west-north east, crossing two tracks. From south to north they are 51m, 42m and 32m long respectively with an overall length of 150m including the breaks. The tracks are downcut and it is considered that archaeological remains will not survive beneath them. Other linear boundaries and associated monuments in the vicinity are the subject of separate schedulings. All fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 31653

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing